With plans to spend a minimum of $7 billion on content next year, Netflix is in need of more subscribers to expand its war chest.
Now, the streaming service appears to have found the next place to do it. Having mostly conquered the West, Netflix is pivoting East and plans on tapping cable providers in Asia to host the Netflix app on their set-top boxes. Netflix seeks to rack up its next 100 million subscribers from the region.
This may sound a little awkward for the cable business, but according to Netflix director of partner engagement Nigel Baptiste there are mutual benefits to working together. A partnership gives cable providers another channel of content, he said.
Netflix isn’t starting from scratch in Asia. The service entered the region two years ago in Japan and now has a presence in most Asian countries, with the notable exceptions of China and North Korea.
To try to convince cable providers to work with Netflix, Baptiste will relocate from the US to the regional headquarters in Singapore next month to build a team to work toward this goal.
While Asia is considered mostly a mobile market, Netflix’s own research indicates that 60 per cent of accounts in Asia switch to using the TV as a primary viewing device within six months, with these users spending twice as long watching on the big screen than on their phones.